Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Without Feathers - Woody Allen

Re read this old Woody Allen classic looking for some laughs. Of course there are laughs aplenty as you wonder at Woody’s zany sense of humour. But honestly, there are also times when you wonder how this stuff got published! But Woody is a favorite of mine and I will stick to the parts I liked.

For example in his articles he ponders about ‘love’ in this fashion – "Is it better to be the lover or the loved one? Neither, if your cholesterol is over six hundred." And there are several such gems. Two plays, several articles, stories with the amazing Inspector Ford who solves murder mysteries as easily as snapping his fingers, a story of guys who need whores with high IQs to excite them and whores who charge for discussing Melville and other literary heavyweights (The Whore of Mensa),  If the Impressionists had been Dentists, and many more such impossible situations and solutions make up this book. Did I laugh out loud? Yes, several times and none more than when he ponders over whether Shakespeare was Marlowe or vice versa. Sample this - "Marlowe’s young wife took up the pen and continued to write the plays and sonnets we all know and avoid today."

Woody’s neurotic, hypochondriacal and completely absurd view of the world, or rather his world, cannot but make you laugh and look at life with far less stress and tension. Life cannot be too bad when we have people like this around. I mean, Woody seems to have so many more issues and problems than we have and seems to be dealing with them well so there is hope! As he says gravely “How wrong Emily Dickenson was! Hope is not ‘the thing with feathers’. The thing with Feathers turned out to be my nephew. I must take him to a specialist in Zurich."

I love Woody Allen. He is one of those guys I’d want to think like, be like, write like, make movies like, and make up stories like.


Rajendra said...

He is hilarious-in print and on celluloid.

Harimohan said...

And brings out a viewpoint that's brilliant and subtle and paradoxical too.